Your updated NBA contest standings

Back in December, I hosted a contest, asking each of you ten questions of varying difficulty about the upcoming NBA season.

Now that the season is about two-thirds over, it’s time to take a look back at those questions, see if any points have been awarded and whether anyone has taken an early lead.

Question 1 – Who will lead the league in scoring?

Somewhat surprisingly, the old man is still getting it done, that old man being Kobe Bryant.  As it stands right now, the Mamba is leading the league in points scored per game with 29.  Hot on his tail, however, are the usual suspects, Kevin Durant (27.8) and LeBron James (27.7).

At this point, it’s highly likely that one of those three will win the award, which makes perfect sense since, out of the 14 of us who entered the pool, nine had Durant, one of us had LeBron, and only one (nice work, Ronbets) picked Kobe Bryant.

The other votes went to Blake Griffin (21.2 ppg) and Carmelo Anthony (21.1)

Question 2 – Which Eastern Conference team will finish with the best record?

This question was essentially a coin toss since most of us knew that only either Chicago or Miami would qualify.  With about 20 games left, Chicago is 37-10 and Miami is 2 ½ games behind at 33-11, so this one is still way too early to tell.  Eleven of us had the Heat and only three of us (J-Dub, Pest and Ronbets) had the Bulls, so a Chicago victory not only gives these three gentlemen a well-deserved two points in the contest, it would also give the Bulls crucial home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Question 3 – Who will have a better record, the Lakers or the Clippers?

Remember pre-season when the Clippers were all the hype?  They were quickly dubbed Lob City after it became obvious that Chris Paul would regularly hit both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan mid-flight for some jaw-dropping dunks.

Well, the Lakers and Clippers are currently neck-and-neck in another race that will likely go down to the wire.  Damn, I’m good.  The Lakers are currently 28-17 and the Clippers are only 1 ½ games behind them at 26-18.  Let’s just say a 4-5 playoff match-up (they’re currently 3-4) between these two teams would be must see TV, not to mention the least traveled playoff series in NBA history.

Once again, it’s still too early to tell who’s going to take this one home.  The contestants were pretty evenly split in this category, six of us choosing the Lakers and eight of us picking the Clippers.

Question 4 – Will Dwight Howard finish this season with the Orlando Magic?

Magic fans have been subject to Dwight’s changing mind all season long.  Will he, won’t he?

Well, the trading deadline came and went and Dwight remains in a Magic uniform, which leads me to believe he’ll be in one at season’s end.

Chalk up four points to the three of us positive thinkers, Ronbets, Jamie of Dallas Sports Rant, and of course myself, for predicting that Orlando could never get fair value for the big man and would do everything in their power to convince him to stay put.

Question 5 – Will the Clippers win a first round playoff matchup?

Obviously, this question can’t be answered until playoff time but as I mentioned earlier, the Clippers do NOT want to face the Lakers in the first round, even if that does mean a semi-home court advantage.

Right now, the Clippers are neck-and-neck with the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings.  It would behoove a young team like the Clippers to secure home court advantage in the first round, particularly after the run Memphis made last year.  That’s not to say they can’t win an opening-round playoff series on the road but some home cookin’ would certainly help.

By the way, ten of us thought they would win their opening round playoff series while four did not.

Question 6 – Who will win league MVP?

Ah, now we’re getting to the good stuff.  League MVP.  There’s been plenty of debate so far this season, not only about who will win the award, but whether someone already has it locked up.

Let me answer that question for you.  No.

The award could still, in my opinion, go to a number of candidates and the last month of the season will likely determine who ends up taking it home.

We combined for a pretty interesting list of candidates, including Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.

Is it already safe to exclude any of those names from the list?  I’ll let you be the judge.  Until then, we’ll have to wait and see how this thing shakes out.

Question 7 – Who will win the NBA Championship?

Needless to say, we will have to wait for June for this one to shake out as well but, looking back, I find it interesting that two of us (Pest and Snake) chose the Clippers to win it all and one of us, ahem, Jamie from DSR thought the Knicks would.  It might be time to start drug testing my readers.

It should come as no surprise that the rest of us chose Oklahoma City, Chicago, Miami or that other L.A. team.

Question 8 – Which Western Conference team will finish with the best record?

The reason I allotted this question eight points and the Eastern Conference question only two is because I thought the Western Conference would be a lot more wide open.  Little did I know the Thunder would be laying waste to the rest of the teams in the conference.

Durant, Westbrook and Co. currently hold a four-game lead over San Antonio and while it’s clearly too early to wrap this one up officially, it’s hard for me to imagine anyone will catch them, or that the Thunder will allow anyone to do so.

Six of us (TopHat, Jamie, Chappy, Sports Attitudes, Die Hard Sport and myself) wisely chose the Thunder to finish atop the Western Conference.  Ironically, nobody chose the Spurs who are currently in second place.

Question 9 – Who will win Finals MVP?

This is another question that we’ll obviously have to wait until June to answer, but there are nine points riding on it, which means it could very well determine who wins the overall contest.

Our submissions included LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook (nice!), Kobe and Chris Paul.

Question 10 – Who will be the first player to score 50 in a game?

Well, this one’s already been answered, thanks to Mr. Durant, who poured in 51 against the Nuggets in mid-February.

Five of us actually got that correct (Snake, Aero, TopHat, Jamie and the Pest) giving them a commanding lead.  Nice work, gentlemen.  Enjoy your lead while it lasts.

TieBreak – Which will be the worst team in the league and how many games will they win?

The worst team in the league, at least record-wise, is the Charlotte Bobcats.  They are a dreadful 6-35.   Back in the day, it would take a Michael Jordan team two or three seasons to amass that many losses.

Six of us actually predicted the Bobcats would be the worst team in the league, which is ironically how many wins the team has at the moment.  Second worst is Washington at 9-32.

We’ll see if the tiebreaker comes into play.

So stay tuned, gentlemen.  There’s plenty of basketball left to be played.

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24 Replies to “Your updated NBA contest standings”

  1. Pingback: Your updated NBA contest standings - BallHyped, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. My congradulations to Mr. Durant on a fine game and here’s to me for getting somthing right for a change.

  3. Chump,
    How about doing something like this next year for the tournament?!
    That being said, of the categories above I am most shocked with Dwight. Can’t believe he didn’t get dealt and he’s even staying next season. How much did Devos have to promise- Choice of coach, point guard, girlfriend, wife, steroids?

  4. DHS…

    I actually hosted a pretty cool bracket madness tourney last year but couldn’t find the time this year to give it the attention it deserved.

    Hey, as a Magic fan, I’ve been as indecisive as Dwight about whether to keep him or move him, although ideally, keeping him was obviously the best option.

    There’s no player in the league like him.

  5. Didn’t get a chance to see this back during that time, but great idea. Right now, the NBA has taken a backseat to NCAA. March Madness currently has all my attention.

  6. You know what has my attention, BS?

    My crumpled-up brackets strewn all over my living room as I sit on my sofa wishing, hoping there was some way I could turn back time.

    Although all in all, the Gators are kicking ass so I’m happy.

    And in one of my pay pools, I actually still have my Elite 8 left. That’s only ONE of my pools, however.

  7. My brackets are kaput. It’s what I get for going with my heart. Speaking of which, how ’bout them Bulls? Looks like USF found them a coach.

  8. Durant and D-Wil have each put up 50 pts this season in a game . It comes as no surprise ! Mamba still remains the best player in the league and we don’t need a MVP trophy to remind us of that ! Only an idiot would choose not to realize that fact !

    After last last night’s performance (on their home-court) by the Magic against the Bulls are you concerned whether or not Dwight stays or goes ? 59 points in the entire game and only 14 pts in the 1st quarter ? Need I say anymore on the matter ? That team simply isn’t good enough to win an NBA title ! Anyone who believes to the contrary ought to speak with their general practitioner and ask if they can be prescribed some Xanax .

    Here’s my thing for you , do you believe that coaching in the NBA has declined ? Consider this also , only three active coaches in the league have won an NBA title in that capacity . I’ve said repeatedly this league has become about “highlight reels” [dunks – little else ] and not much else . The ” game” was sold down the river the day that Stern decided it was best to market the players rather than the teams ! It’s now coming back to bite him in the @@s in more ways than one ! Case in point although it looks as if the Kings will remain in Sac Town don’t count out the Maloofs relocating the franchise if they choose to pull a Clay Bennett with the help of the “commish ” as the Thunder owner did when he moved the Sonics to Oklahoma City leaving the city of Seattle with nothing but egg on their face , albeit , that they got $25 million for their troubles and a white elephant as a stadium that’s not really now used for anything . Think that won’t now happen if the idiot council members in Sacramento are duped like their counterparts in Seattle ? Former NBA player Kevin Johnson who’s Sac-Town’s mayor is a friggin’ idiot to think that working jointly with local businesses will forestall what appears to be the inevitable ! The team doesn’t draw and they’re not that good to begin with . Never mind that the city has more acute needs than him using close to $250 million ([with an alleged $175million being thrown over three years by those businesses]) in public funds to build a new venue for a bunch of f$$$king multimillionaires & billionaires . But then again what’s new ? That basically sums politicians at the municipal , state and federal levels nowadays to begin with ! How lucky are the Mets’ ownership at this juncture ? Instead of having to go to trial they settled with the trustee of the Madoff victims for 16c on the dollar in terms of the $1 billion civil suit lodged against them. Plaintiffs’ attorney Irving Picard had a winnable case but he let greed get in the way in terms of what his law firm ( Baker & Hostettler LLC ) will get as a fee . .

    tophatal ……………….

  9. I just noticed I picked Miami to win the title but Westbrook for finals MVP. Should be interesting to see that play out haha

  10. Dub…

    There comes a point in every man’s life, or at least there should, where he realizes there are just certain teams he should stay away from, certain teams he just doesn’t have a handle on at all and certain teams to not wager on when at the window.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are your such team.

  11. Aer…

    If you went with your heart, and the Gators, then you should be sitting pretty right about now.

    And you’re right on about Heath. He’s done a helluva lot better job in the time he’s been at USF than Skip Holtz has.

  12. Al…

    Interesting that you mention that.
    I spend a little time over at the Full Court Pest’s NBA Forum and people over there are convinced LeBron already has the MVP Trophy wrapped up. I’m not so sure.

    Re: the Magic, hopefully that team, and it’s coaching staff, took a nice hard look at themselves over that Sunday-Monday where they played, yet failed to compete, with the Heat-Bulls, because those are the two teams that have set the bar in the Eastern Conference.

    And hmmmm, do I believe coaching has declined in the NBA? Ya’ know what, Al? That’s actually a great question.

    I know that we can count on one hand the amount of active NBA coaches that have a ring, leaving the rest of them salivating at the thought. That’s probably why Pop’s Spurs are second best in the West right now.

    Side note… how many Heat championships will it take for Erik Spoelstra to be considered a great coach.

  13. Chris
    Not only has the coaching declined but the coaches simply aren’t worried about defense . Look at the stats within both conferences as it relates to that ? . Someone tried to suggest to me that the Heat has a stifling defense . They give up on average .93.6 ppg and their margin of victory is app 7.5 ppg . Hardly conducive to great ball but as they say …” beauty is in the eye of the beholder . ” And when you’re enamored by highlight reel dunks rather than the quality of the basketball being played I don’t believe that there’s much more to be said !

    ESPN’s Tim Legler alongside Bayless have to be two of the biggest morons now appearing on tv in terms of their various capacities . Both are trying to suggest that ‘melo wasn’t the cause in DAntoni’s firing . And they even went on to suggest that the player is a calming influence in the locker room . If ‘melo were a Roman Catholic priest I’m sure young boys would be willing to be in his company . WTF ! There’s a reason why the Nuggets got rid of his a## and it had nothing to do with the player’s contract situation at the time. Karl had enough of his antics and laziness in terms of his game on the defensive side of the ball .

    It’s good to see the Gators back in the thick of things as it relates to the NCAA Tournament . With the ‘noles and Blue Devils …. bowing out I’m throwing my cap in the ring behind Donovan and the Gators !

    If at all interested ?

    And On The Eighth Day God Said To Peyton Manning I Just Don’t Like Ugly !

  14. If Spoelstra <b. doesn't win this year then I can’t see the front office retaining his services . Riley knows that all fingers will be pointing in his direction should his protege` fail . And as of now there’s no telling as to the real identity of this Heat team . .

    I see Pacquiao has stated that God has called upon him to retire and carry out his good works as a politician within the Philippines’ parliament ? Does God speak to , Obama , Romney , Newt , Santorum and Ron Paul as well ? Just askin’ that’s all ! Inquiring minds don’t really need to know but I thought Poli-sci major you could clue me in ?

  15. Actually, Al, Miami’s NINTH in the league in points allowed per game (Philly’s first) and second in the league in FG% allowed at 42.4%. Once again, Philly’s first.

    Anyone out there still think Doug Collins doesn’t deserve coach of the year award?

  16. Al…

    I might have to agree with you on Spoelstra.

    But who do they get to coach this team?

    Would Riley do it?

    I mean, who couldn’t coach this team to a championship? Other than Spoelstra, of course.

    And what about roster moves? Do you think they’d mess with the roster, adding pieces here and there, or would they keep it relatively intact?

  17. J…

    I guess we can’t fault you too much for submitting a homer pick.

    Although having a steady 3-4-5 without having a 1 or 2 worth a damn is not a recipe for sustained success.

    Just ask the Knicks of the 90s.

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